How to do SWOT Analysis With Competitive Intelligence Questions

How to do SWOT Analysis With Competitive Intelligence Questions

This post asks how to do SWOT Analysis with Competitive Intelligence questions. SWOT analysis is the most popular, well known and obvious strategic intelligence tool to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with your business, division, office and project. 

SWOT analysis offers powerful insight into your Competitive and Market landscape. We hope this article will asset you in developing a better list of actions to minimise Weakness and Threats and make the most of your Strengths and Opportunities. 

We have found that the structure of SWOT analysis is relatively easy to understand. List your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You don’t need an MBA from Harvard to understand this. It’s simple. And that’s one of the advantages of SWOT analysis. However, the simplicity of the tool does not mean it is straightforward to do it properly.

Like everything to do with Competitive Analysis, Competitors Research and Competitive Intelligence, a SWOT analysis exercise are only as good as the questions you ask to get the answers. Here are some questions to answer associated with the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats:

1. Strengths

Start with a SWOT analysis are Strengths. Strengths are internal factors that you are great at. Ask these and other strength-related questions:

  • What are your main differentiators?
  • What do your customers think your strengths are?
  • Do your competitors think you are good at anything? 
  • What do you do better than your competitors?
  • The area of business where you make the most profit?
  • What do you do better than anyone else?

2. Weaknesses

Weaknesses are your internal factors, challenges and problems that limit capability and growth. Ask questions like, what are the:

  • Inadequate or missing features, functionality, benefits your product or service?
  • Areas of your business can you improve?
  • Problems you are experiencing?
  • Resources you don’t have?
  • The views of your customer base in terms of your weaknesses? 

3. Opportunities

Opportunities are usually external aspects that could help your business go from strength to strength. Questions like:

  • How can we provide additional services, products and value to our customers?
  • Are there other products or services we could introduce that could be a winner for us?
  • How can we develop technology to improve our offering?
  • What new markets sector can we develop?

4. Threats

Threats pose considerable risk and vulnerability, which, unchecked, could damage your business. 

  • What is getting in the way that’s stopping us from winning?
  • Are there more competitors in your market? How dangerous are they?
  • What are your competitors up to? And what are they developing? What markets are they attacking?
  • Is technology making things easier or harder?
  • Are customers looking and buying alternative products and services? If so, why? If not, why?
  • What’re the economic issues and changes surrounding your industry?

Compile the results and take action

There’s a temptation to just get it over with. One line answers with very little thought. This exercise should and could be the most critical aspect of your business planning. So put lots of time, effort and thought into it.

Understand how you are going to:

  • Make the most of your strengths
  • Reduce the impact of your weaknesses
  • Explicit the opportunities you have found
  • Minimise any threats to your business

Once you think you have completed the discussion, compile, collate and analyse your answers. Then move forward with your strategic plan based on the views of the most dominant person in the room. Sorry, build your strategic plan on the results of the SWOT exercise.  

Write and developed a prioritised action plan

Done correctly and consistently, a SWOT exercise is a creative way to bring your teams together, encourage honest discussion and have the answers to help you manage your capacity and capabilities to continue to grow a great business.

But remember, the SWOT analysis is only valid on the day you did it, so it should be an organic piece of work. It should be more than a yearly task and just an appendix in the marketing plan. Some CI experts believe SWOT is a tired and old business tool that needs to be replaced by something more relevant to today’s industry. They may be right. They are bound to be one day. But it completely misses the point about SWOT. It’s easy to do, easy to understand and with effort, easy to create positive results. 

How to do SWOT Analysis with Competitive Intelligence Questions

This post asked how to do SWOT Analysis with Competitive Intelligence questions. We discussed how SWOT analysis is the most popular, well known and obvious strategic intelligence tool identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with your business, division, office and project. 

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